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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  July 15, 2011 11:00am-11:05am EDT

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debt ceiling, we also solve the problem of underlying debt and decifits. you know, i'm glad that congressional leaders don't want to default, but i think the american people expect more than that. they expect that we actually try to solve this problem, we get our fiscal house in order, so during the course of these discussions with congressional leaders, what i've tried to emphasize is we have a unique opportunity to do something big. we have a chance to stabilize america's finances for a decade, for 15 years or 20 years. if we're willing to seize the moment. now, that would -- what that would require would be some shared sacrifice and a balanced approach that says we're going to make significant cuts in domestic spending, and i have already said i am willing to take
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down domestic spending to the lowest percentage of our overall economy since dwight eisenhower. it also requires cuts in defense spending, and i've said that in addition to the $400 million that we've already cut from defense spending, we're willing to look for hundreds of billions more. it would require us taking on health care spending, and that includes looking at medicare and finding ways that we can stabilize the system so that it is available not just for this generation but for future generations, and it would require revenues. it would require even as we're asking the person who needs a student loan or the senior citizen or people -- veterans who are trying to get by on a disability check, even as we're trying to make sure that all those programs are affordable, we're also saying to folks like myself that can afford
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it, that we are able and willing to do a little bit more. that millionaires and billionaires can afford to do a little more. that we can close corporate loopholes so that oil companies aren't getting unnecessary tax breaks or that corporate jet owners aren't getting unnecessary tax breaks. if we take that approach, then i am confident that we cannot only impress the financial nargts -- markets but more importantly, we can actually impress the american people that this town can actually get something done once in a while. let me acknowledge what everybody understands. it is hard to do a big package. my republican friends have said that they're not willing to do revenues, and they have repeated that on several occasions. my hope, though, is that they're listening not just to lobbyists or special
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interests here in washington, but they're also listening to the american people. because it turns out, poll after poll, many done by your organization, show that not just democrats who think we need to take a balanced approach, it's republicans as well. the clear majority of republican voters think that any decifit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. that's not just democrats. that's the majority of republicans. you've got a whole slew of republican officials from previous administrations, you've got a bipartisan commission that has said that we need revenues. so this is not just a democratic understanding, this is an understanding that i think the american people hold, that we should not be asking sacrifices from middle class folks who are working hard every day, from the most vulnerable in
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our society, we should not be asking them to make sacrifices we're not asking the most for national to make sacrifices as well. so i am still pushing for us to achieve a big deal. but what i also said to the group is if we can't do the biggest deal possible, then let's still be ambitious, let's still try to at least get a downpayment on decifit reduction and that, we can actually accomplish without huge changes in revenue or significant changes in entitlements, but we could still send a signal that we are serious about this problem. the fallback position, the third option and i think the least attractive option, is one in which we raise the debt ceiling but we don't make any progress on deficit and debt, because if we take that approach, this issue is
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going to continue to plague us for months and years to come. and i think it's important for the american people that everybody in this town set politics aside, that everybody in this town sets our individual interests aside, and we try to do tough stuff. and i've already taken some heat from my party for being willing to compromise. my expectation and hope is that everybody in the coming days is going to be willing to compromise. last point i'll make, then i'll take questions. we are obviously running out of final. and so what i've said to the members of congress is that you need over the next 24-36 hours to give me some sense of what your plan is to get the debt ceiling raised through whatever mechanisms they can think about
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on 8/5/2011